Tamara Myers on The Value of Adaptive Reuse

Concrete Windows
Concrete Windows!

This past week, I was honored to visit The Mercer Museum in Doylestown, PA, to present a speech on Adaptive Reuse to the Mid-Atlantic Chapter of the National Kitchen and Bath Association. The museum, which houses an enormous collection of tools and products from pre-Industrial Revolution American artisans, provided the perfect venue for this event. Henry Mercer — a true “maker” — was an early pioneer of sustainable practices who conceived of and built that museum for the LONG term! Unusual for its time, the building is made entirely of concrete, including not only the foundation and walls, but also the roof and windows. As a window expert, I just had to smile when I saw those concrete windows again.

Myers Constructs was founded upon the philosophy that renovating existing structures helps folks raise the quality of their lives in their homes, businesses, or institutions. Over the years, we have worked on scores of adaptive reuse projects that include church renovations, transforming a former Catholic convent into a home, and an award-winning major window renovation and repair project at The Fleisher Art Memorial , a historic Philadelphia-based art institution. We have always understood that good design is critical to sustainability. It’s a simple equation: good design, coupled with well chosen materials and methods, will net a successful renovation that will be used for the long term. Renovations with poor layouts, poorly considered or inferior materials, and ignoring underlying space issues can easily trigger the need for another renovation within a short time. As stewards of the environment, we want to use our resources wisely and look to create renovations that will last for generations to come.

Mercer certainly embraced that philosophy. We’re thankful for a long and loyal list of clients who do, as well.

Wishing you a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday on behalf of the Myers Constructs Team,

Tamara Myers

Announcing Our New Private-Label Cabinetry Line: Myers Made™


Here at Myers Constructs, we have been designing, selling, and installing cabinetry for almost 30 years. Last year, we decided we could improve upon the options currently on the market by creating our own custom line of cabinetry. Our priority was finding a great quality product that was built regionally to our specifications and standards. We couldn’t be more pleased to announce that, after a lot of research and negotiations, we found a manufacturer with great systems and talented, hard-working people who will create them for us. The name of our new private label line of cabinetry is Myers Made™, in honor of our company co-founder, head designer, kitchen and bath design expert, Tamara Myers.

The Back Story

Tamara spent at least a decade designing, building, and selling kitchens and bath cabinets before co-founding Myers Constructs, Inc., in 1998. Before that, she worked as a carpenter in the field during the day, and a kitchen and bath designer at night. Tamara is a genuine “maker.”

Tamara holds a LEED AP certification and Certified Remodeler certification from NARI, and she is also an active member of NKBA When Tamara designs a room, she sees through the finishes and knows where the studs are. She makes sure our carpenters understand these details just as well as she does in order to build what’s been designed. The walls are sized and cabinets placed so that the tile layout makes sense with no funny cuts. As a result, our kitchen layouts can be tough to execute, but it’s always worth the effort!

During the coming months, we will be unveiling our new Myers Made™ cabinetry line in the Cape May cottage renovation being done by a local speculative development company. Stay tuned to peek at behind-the-scenes photos of the cabinets being built; to learn more about features, benefits, and custom colors for the Myers Made™ line; and to see how our cabinetry will perfectly complement the new kitchen in this lovely old home on the Jersey shore.

Learn more about Myers Made cabinetry.

In the Works: A Cottage by the Sea

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We occasionally work with developers on a variety of residential or small commercial renovations. Recently, we were asked to help with this speculative house project that one of our developers has lined up in Cape May, NJ. At just under 1500 sf, the house is a quaint “four square” with off-street parking and a nice yard on a quiet residential street, within walking distance to town and the beach.

You can see from the photos that the house has good bones and some nice original features. However, it currently has no heating system, A/C, or hot water, and it needs a lot of cosmetic work, including a good paint job inside and out, a new roof, a new kitchen and main bath, a powder room tune up, and some landscaping. The developer’s goal is to provide overall enhancements and to impart more of a shore-style feel to the home.

More as this project develops — we have some surprises in store!

New Life for an Old City Condo


We’re in the process of wrapping up a large-scale makeover on this sunny condominium in Philadelphia’s charming Old City neighborhood. The homeowners, who have lived here for at least 15 years, recently retired and wanted to make some upgrades as they begin the next phase of their lives. Because the condo was built in the 1980s, some of the elements — particularly in the kitchen and bathrooms — were feeling dated to our clients.

  • Paint throughout the entire unit
  • Cherry-colored maple cabinets
  • GE appliances
  • Stone style ceramic tile flooring in the kitchen and entry, which will keep these high-traffic areas easy to clean
  • Cherry floating engineered flooring throughout the bedrooms and main rooms
  • Bathroom vanities, sinks, toilets, granite counters, and new chrome fixtures and accessories
  • New lighting layout, including attractive ceiling fans for the larger rooms
  • Closet organization systems

Now that these larger pieces of the project are complete, Tamara will work with the clients on choosing the proper window treatments for their 8′ tall windows. Not only do the windows let in a tremendous amount of light due to southern exposure, but they also make the condo feel drafty.

It was gratifying to be able to help these folks head into retirement in their newly styled and redefined space.

P.S. Our Mt. Airy kitchen project was featured in The Philadelphia Inquirer this week!

Our Main Line Kitchen Project Featured on The House Counselor

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This week, we are excited to have one of our recent kitchen projects featured on HGTV Remodels’ blog, The House Counselor with Laurie March. The project, pictured here, is a big-feature, yet modestly sized, modern chef’s kitchen created for a cottage-style home in Narberth. Here is an excerpt from our interview with Laurie:

I Spy … Myers Contructs’ Design

As you know, I like peeking in other people’s windows. I’m not creepy, just curious! When I spotted Myers Constructs’ tasteful kitchen remodel in Main Line Philadelphia, I had to find out more. Myers co-founders Tamara Myers and Diane Menke were kind enough to tell me more….

Q: What were the main items on the wish list for this remodel?

Diane: The clients wanted to maintain the vintage charm and scale of this modest home while making big improvements. Very high-quality custom cherry cabinets and high-end Wolf appliances and finishes were at the top of their list.

Q: What would you say were the biggest obstacles?

Diane: Staging this project was tough because the house is small, and there is no garage. We literally took up the entire first floor with materials and products to be installed into the kitchen. We maintained the client’s privacy using plastic dust barriers and having workers use a separate entrance.

Q: Where are the hidden gems in this design?

Diane: The high-quality fit and finish of the custom cabinets we had made for this project. It’s like the difference between the finish of a luxury car vs. a sedan. This kitchen is like an Aston Martin!
I encourage anyone who is considering a kitchen remodel to go visit a cabinetmaker’s shop to learn the difference that great fit and finish make.

Q: That fridge looks glorious paneled in cherry. It keeps the vintage charm of the space front and center — obviously a conscious decision.

Tamara: Yes and its a 42″ wide Sub-Zero but doesn’t look “too wide” because of the paneling, very successful.

Read the full interview, and be sure to follow Laurie’s blog. Originally published on 5/13/13; excerpt reprinted with permission.

Have a wonderful week,

The Myers Constructs Team

Images: headshot — Laurie March/HGTV Remodels; kitchen — Mark Gisi/Tabula Creative

A New Life for Your Space. A Better Life for You.


Since the 1990s, Myers Constructs has been satisfying homeowner needs for improved living spaces. We find that these same happy homeowners have called us again and again when they need more work done, or when they move on to their next homes. Past customers also often pass our name on to friends neighbors and family members, and we even get great referrals from the people who wish they had hired us but went with someone else and were disappointed with them in the end.

Consider us for your next project, large or small, including maintenance services such as:

  • adding a closet, pantry, or storage area
  • replacing windows or doors
  • repairing a garage
  • finishing a basement space
  • early spring maintenance to repair windows or doors
  • installation of storm windows to make old wooden windows more efficient
  • porch repairs, including wooden floors, steps, railings, and fancy millwork
  • powder room and bathroom facelifts
  • creation of a home office
  • enclosing a porch area to create a four-season room and add square footage to your home

If you have a question about these or any other projects you have in mind, please don’t hesitate to ask. We’d love to hear from you!